NOTES FROM GARY
I am excited to announce that The Shrwalk(R), Shrink and Walk(R), Shrwalker(R), and Shrwalking(R) trademarks have been issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office . I hope to launch The Shrwalk(R) smartphone app soon.
The Eat What You Want Diet, aka The Shrwalk (Shrink and Walk Diet) How I Lost 42 Pounds in 84 Days by Shrinking My Appetite and Walking is available for 99 cents, and can be purchased from all major online e-tailers. Seasons of Eating always seem to be upon us, so why not spend 99 cents and 30 minutes to read how I shrank my appetite and walked away the pounds while enjoying the foods I liked? More than five years later, I've kept the weight off. Yes, Shrwalking(R) works!
Here's the link to a feature article that appeared in the LaGrange Park Suburban Life :
Here's the link to a feature article that appeared in the LaGrange Doings :
I spent the summer finishing The Eat What You Want Diet, aka The Shrwalk (Shrink and Walk Diet), my soon-to-be-published e-book. I'm in the process of writing a jingle of sorts to promote it, and hope to have the book released by November. It's been relatively easy so far, but now that it's almost time to entrust other professionals with my work, anxiety is mixing in with the excitement. Check back in Oct. for updates.
I'm into my fifth month of maintaining the 42 lb. weight loss, and plan to drop another 26 lbs. by year's end. This weight loss method I devised really works. Hopefully the e-book will sell like gangbusters, and I'll have tons of extra cash available for some long-overdue recording in 2013 and beyond. Perhaps you'll see me promoting the book on television.
I listened to a bunch of great artists during the summer months, including Molly Hatchet, Carrie Underwood, Madonna, Juice Newton, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Alice Cooper, Styx, Pat Benatar, 4 Non Blondes, Alan Jackson, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Daughtry, Hottie and the Blowfish, Charlie, Joe Nichols, Henry Mancini's Peter Gunn Soundtrack, Josh Turner, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Pink, B-52s, Who, Lindsey Buckingham, Bill Cooley, Zac Brown Band, Reba, Shelby Lynne, Heart, Ted Nugent, and Linda Davis.
Hope you're having a fun, productive year, and that the final months of 2012 are filled with joy and success!
The weather has been hot and dry for most of the late-spring and early summer. I lost 42 pounds in 84 days this past winter, and have kept them off the past few months. I plan to drop another 26 pounds or so later this summer. I've enjoyed many long walks enroute to becoming physically fit, and I've written a new e-book about the experience, which should be available later this year.
I spent a good amount of time listening to some great music by Lindsey Buckingham, Foreigner, Amy Winehouse, Vince Gill, Judas Priest, Black Keys, Queen, Martina McBride, Katy Perry, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Carole King, UFO, Foster and Lloyd, Thompson Square, Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Lady Antebellum, Florence and the Machine, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Sugarland, Pink, Donna Summer, Climax Blues Band, Smash, Triumph, The Band, Patti Smith, Allman Brothers Band, Rodney Atkins, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Pointer Sisters, Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood, and Molly Hatchet.
Neil Simon once said, "There are only so many summers in one's lifetime." Hope yours is a great one!
My flip phone finally died, so I took the plunge and bought an I-phone 4s . My brother Steve hit the nail on the head with his "You've entered a new world," response to my first text. It's amazing what that little gadget can do. It's almost like walking around with your computer. I couldn't understand why so many people were walking around with their eyes glued to their phones, but now I can understand why. I even signed up for a Twitter account. If you're interested, you can follow me on Twitter at email@example.com . I don't tweet every day, but I have about forty so far.
I'm in the process of developing a new solo production. The working title and title song is (Why Not) Get It Now. Stay tuned...
The winter months brought an abudance of good music to my cd player, including recordings by Pablo Cruise, Vince Gill, Adele, Restless Heart, Blondie, Montgomery Gentry, Pia Zadora, Bee Gees, Patti Smith, The Kind, The ODD, Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds, April Wine, UFO, Rolling Stones, Andy Kim, Polly Browne, Led Zeppelin, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Oak Ridge Boys, David Geddes, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Janie Fricke, Kellie Pickler, Survivor, The DeFranco Family, Every Mother's Son, Albert Hammond, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Thompson Square, Kathy Mattea, The Civil Wars, Shania Twain, Melanie, Brian Ernst, and Amy Winehouse.
Thank you for visiting my website, and remember that Every Day Should Be Mother's Day !
It was an eventful autumn. I spent November and most of December overseeing the much-needed remodeling of my late brother Brian's condo on the Intercoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I was there from Nov. 2 thru Dec. 22, and never donned a jacket; Brian certainly found his tropical paradise. It was strange seeing children posing for Santa pictures in his sleigh while they wore shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops. They even had a plastic "ice" skating rink downtown.
It was somewhat ironic that Melanie Amaro , winner of the X-Factor contest, hails from nearby Sunrise, Florida. It brought back memories of the cool, damp late-April days I waited to audition at the Sears Center in Hoffman Estates, IL. Don't know if I'll be up for enduring that again...
I received another check for digital downloads from the Dare To Be Kind cd, so the tracks must be receiving airplay somewhere around the globe. I also attended my first concert in many years. Recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Alice Cooper put on a lively, entertaining show. Loads of energy, and he's 63-years old!
Cds in my player included releases by Anne Murray, Kim Richey, Led Zeppelin, Go-Gos, Jake Owen, Brian Adams, Steel Magnolia, Motels, Luke Bryan, Doobie Brothers, Ashton Shepherd, Eddy Raven, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Darrell Evans, George Strait, David Gilmour, Amy Winehouse, Martina McBride, Foster and Lloyd, Blake Shelton, UFO, Point Blank, Bad Company, Paul Brandt, Kelly Clarkson, Adele, Sonny James, Wilson Phillips, Sting, Trace Adkins, Exile , and Vince Gill .
Best wishes for a happy, healthy 2012!
Most of the hot, wet summer months were spent reading and planning for the next phase of my career. At present, I cannot divulge the details, but I will say that it will involve music, education, performing, and writing. Still tweaking exactly how to take things to the next level.
I had a fun experience one morning in July. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire held auditions at Arlington Race Track . I figured I would give it a shot. Surprisingly, when I arrived at 5:30 am (and watched a beautiful sunrise), there were only about 50 people in line. The age range was approx. 25-65; most were middle-aged, like me. People came from Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, and Minnesota--at least those who were near me in line. I felt fortunate to have driven only 20 miles.
Groups of 350 were led into one of the ballrooms. We were given Scantron sheets, #2 pencils, and 10 minutes to complete a 30 question multiple-choice test. We weren't told what a passing score was. I figured my score was somewhere between 25-30. I'll never know, because they only announced the names of about 20 people who passed. It was fun, though.
Later this autumn, I plan to spend some extended time at my late brother Brian's condo on the Intercoastal Waterway in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. It was four years ago this fall that he underwent a Stem-Cell Transplant to ward off the Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia that eventually took his life the following April. My surviving siblings and I visit his condo to keep the tropical paradise he found close to our hearts.
Artists in my cd player included Runaways, Keith Urban, Helen Reddy, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Sara Evans, Doobie Brothers, Susan Raye, James Otto, UFO, Blake Shelton, Boston, Pablo Cruise, Jon Vezner, REO Speedwagon, Joey & Rory, Sugarland, Bon Jovi, Billy Currington, Tanya Tucker, Kathy Mattea, Patti Smith Group, Vanessa Davis Band, Vanessa Williams, Brad Paisley, Rossington Collins Band, Boyzz From Illinoiz, Shirelles, Cheap Trick, Ricky Skaggs, Shawn Phillips, Kenny Loggins, America, Kim Richey, Motels, and Anne Murray .
Enjoy these precious remaining beautiful days!
I spent most of the past few months doing some big-time soul searching as I begin to shape the next chapter of my life. I've been reading 2-3 daily newspapers from cover-to-cover, and 1-2 books per week--I even finally got around to reading all 1024 pages of Gone With The Wind. Not surprisingly, as fantastic as the movie is, I believe the novel is even better.
In late April, I did something I never would have considered doing prior to this year. The X-Factor , Simon Cowell's new show, held auditions in relatively nearby Hoffman Estates, Illinois. I left home at 2 am and waited in the rain on two "mornings" in late-April for my opportunity to sing a verse and chorus of Every Day Should Be Mother's Day for one of 26 judges. Alas, I did not advance to the next round, but it was fun and exciting to be amongst 12,000 talented singers of all ages--one 88-year-old lady did make it to the next round. I hope she'll be on the program when it airs this fall.
Artists in my cd player included Gnarls Barkley, Taylor Swift, Shania Twain, Sugarland, UFO, Point Blank, David Gilmour, Mercy Me, Hole, Nirvana, John Ford Coley, Rush, The Judds, Beyonce, Elvis Costello, Alanis Morissette, Duffy, Fleetwood Mac, Robert Plant, Squeeze, Britney Spears, Rick Springfield, Lady Gaga, Tanya Tucker, Kenny Chesney, Florence + the Machine, Elton John, Climax Blues Band, The Band Perry, Keith Urban, Ringo Starr, Ben Harper, Dierks Bentley, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and The Runaways .
To quote the legendary playwright Neil Simon , "There are only so many summers in one's lifetime." Here's hoping you make the this summer a memorable one!
The winds of change have been blowing (more like gusting ) in my direction for quite some time. Not surprisingly, the consequence was a pretty darn good stretch of songwriting. When inspiration strikes, I head for the laptop and the guitar.
Artists I listened to during the long winter months included the Ronettes, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Journey, Tina Turner, Cheap Trick, Patti Smith Group, REO Speedwagon, K.T. Tunstall, Darius Rucker, Buckingham Nicks, the Rolling Stones, Twisted Sister, Wynonna, Cee Lo Green, Concrete Blonde, Barenaked Ladies, Pat Benatar, Lady Gaga, Lyrnyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company, Brooks & Dunn, Tycoon, k.d. lang, Robert Plant, Taylor Swift, the Chiffons, the Runaways, Gnarls Barkley, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Florence +the Machine, Sammy Hagar, Johnny Duncan, Janie Fricke, Faith Hill, the Pretenders, Sugarland, Pink Floyd, Reba McEntire, and Led Zeppelin.
Simon Cowell's X-Factor television show auditions come to nearby Hoffman Estates in late-April. I plan to attend, and may unveil one of my new songs. Stay tuned, and have a terrific Spring--when it decides to arrive for good!
2010 came to a close with a very welcome two-week Winter Break. The pressure and stress at work has been enormous, and I thank the Lord for providing me with the writing skills which I continually utilize. Needless to say, the guitar has not left its case since school began in August.
It was nice to receive another payment for downloads, mostly for sales of Every Day Should Be Mother's Day and She Won't Be Lonely Long . When I wasn't working, I spent time listening to Katie Perry, Hootie and the Blowfish, Point Blank, Rolling Stones, Train, U2, Kings of Leon, Heart, Bad Company, Gary Wright, Robert Plant, Ronnie Wood, Kenny Chesney, Lee Greenwood, Billy Squier, Zac Brown Band, Bachman-Turner, Chuck Berry, Judas Priest, Lynyrd Skynyrd, K.T. Tunstall, Steve Miller Band, Bryan Adams, Jason Aldean, Patty Griffin, April Wine, Rosanne Cash, Sugarland, J. Geils Band, Kansas, Reba McEntire, Kelly Clarkson, Abba, Tantrum, Wilson Phillips, Annie Lennox, Vanessa Williams, REO Speedwagon, Shelby Lynne, Journey, Jo Stafford, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Outlaws, The Ronettes, and the Patti Smith Group .
Best wishes for a happy, healthy 2011!
Summer seemed to start late and end early (for me, anyway). It was hot and muggy for most of July and August, with heavy rainfall never more than a few days away. Still, it was good to have the time off to sleep late, catch up on my reading, watch lots of baseball, and get hooked on Mad Men, Hung, Nurse Jackie, and Sex and the City .
On July 25, I sang Pride, Dare To Be Kind , and Every Day Should Be Mother's Day . The mini-gig at Fairview Village was my first live performance in many years, and it was the first time I sang Every Day Should Be Mother's Day for an audience with my mom in Heaven. It was difficult rehearsing it, but the live version was fine. It felt good to be back in front of an audience again.
I took a day-trip to Ft. Wayne, IN with my Aunt Dolores and sister Linda, and in early August, I took a short trip with my dear Aunt Dolores to Provincetown, MA to attend a wedding on a sailboat in Cape Cod Bay. The weather was magnificent, and it was the first time I had ever been to New England. Next time, I'll be sure to stay a while longer. I'm glad Hurricane Earl scooted further east a few weeks later. That area is a sitting duck if a Category 2 or higher ever makes a direct hit.
Also in August, I received the pleasant surprise of a royalty check for digital downloads of She Won't Be Lonely Long . It's never been one of my bigger sellers, so I have Clay Walker to thank for that--he recently had a hit song on country radio with the same title. I suppose some people gave my song a listen, liked what they heard, and downloaded it to their Ipods.
On Aug 23, I began my 20th year as an educator. Thankfully, after two years of teaching 3rd-grade, I'm back teaching 5th-grade, and it's nice to be teaching many of the same children I taught when they were 3rd-graders. The demands continue to be daunting. Alas, the guitar left its case only once this past summer, and will remain at rest until the situation reaches its conclusion.
I listened to lots of terrific music this summer, including UFO, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Gary Wright, Ella Fitzgerald, Heart, Patty Larkin, Bad Company, Songs of 1940, Count Basey, Creed, Kansas, Melissa Etheridge, Boz Scaggs, Vanessa Davis Band, Timothy B. Schmit, Hall & Oates, Little River Band, Webb Wilder, Backstreet Boys, Dennis DeYoung, Peter Wolf, Ozzy Osbourne, Concrete Blonde, Little Big Town, Hootie and the Blowfish, and Katy Perry .
Enjoy these precious remaining Sept./Oct days!
I'm enjoying a summer I couldn't wait for to arrive. I took a class on teaching with Smartboards in early June, then flew to Ft. Lauderdale to accompany my brother to Plantation, FL for a cutting-edge procedure involving liposuction and stem cells to restore cartilage in his ailing hip. Steve is in no pain, and has regained some flexibility. There will be future treatments, but it appears to be a promising method to avoid conventional hip replacement surgery. I drove the 21 hours home, and vowed never to do it again--that's what airplanes are for!
I haven't done any writing yet, but I'm using the free time to develop my next idea/project. As writers know, the writing is the fun part; generating ideas is the "work" part. Stay tuned.
Lots of music graced my cd players these past few months, including Bad Company, Josh Turner, Helen Reddy, Cars, Leona Lewis, Lady Gaga, Hootie and the Blowfish, Creed, Shelby Lynne, Beatles, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Megan McDonough, Alan Jackson, J. Geils Band, Ted Nugent, Rolling Stones, Radney Foster, Chely Wright, Pat Green, 38 Special, Daughtry, Little Big Town, Lindsey Buckingham, Concrete Blonde, Mac Davis, Gary Wright, Ozzy Osbourne, REO Speedwagon, Alabama, Eagles, Don Henley, Outlaws, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kansas Mary Chapin Carpenter, Ella Fitzgerald, and UFO.
To quote Neil Simon, "There are only so many summers in one's lifetime." Hope you find ample time to enjoy this one!
I took two relaxing trips to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Once in late-January, and my annual Spring Break visit March 27-April 3. The trips were bittersweet, because I stay in my late-brother Brian's condo on the Intercoastal Waterway. Still, it's heartening to know that prior to coming home for his final months, Brian had found his paradise. He's been gone two years now...
Listeners still continue to purchase downloads of Every Day Should Be Mother's Day . This Mother's Day will be the first one without my dear mother Gladys, who passed last May 13. I sang the song at her graveside service, and altered the words to "Not a day goes by I don't think of her, now her days on Earth are through." As the lyrics say, "She'll always be there for me, no matter what I do." Now our relationship is a spiritual one.
Cds I listened to these past few months included recordings by Pink, Joe Nichols, Birtles, Shorrock, and Goble, Steve Miller Band, Bad Company, Lady Gaga, Martina McBride, Europe, Halford, Boz Scaggs, Anne Murray, Reba McEntire, Outlaws, Barry Manilow, Wet Willie, Keith Urban, Gloriana, Carly Simon, Patricia Conroy, Stevie Nicks, Brooks & Dunn, Rossington, Rossington-Collins Band, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Accept, UFO, Terri Clark, Shawn Phillips Linda Davis, Lady Antebellum, Freda Payne, Styx, Traffic, Who, Peter Townshend, Glen Campbell, Kings of Leon, Cass Elliott, Led Zeppelin, Loggins and Messina, Webb Wilder, Hollies, Jimmy Cliff, Helen Reddy, and Abba.
Hope you enjoy a terrific Spring, and remember Every Day Should Be Mother's Day!
The majority of the autumn months were consumed with professional responsibilities related to my teaching. The increased requirements imposed upon educators have occupied nearly every free moment of my time--and it never seems to be good enough. It's amazing how experienced teachers with exemplary records can be viewed as ineffective in the blink of an eye. Perhaps there's a future song, album, and/or musical in all of the above...
Due to the lack of available time, I had to cancel both of the planned Vortex Theatre productions for the 2009-10 season. Needless to say, there wasn't even time to remove my guitars from their cases, let alone for writing. Hopefully, conditions will improve by next fall...
I did manage to find time (mostly enroute to work) to enjoy cds by Juice Newton, Brad Paisley, Abba, Heart, Rush, Olivia Newton-John, Sugarland, Reba McEntire, Madonna, Pam Tillis, Rolling Stones, Diamond Rio, Poison, Tanya Tucker, Jake Owen, Miranda Lambert, Europe, Joey & Rory, Songs of 1932, Rosanne Cash, U2, Led Zeppelin, Rob Halford, REO Speedwagon, Sara Evans, Darius Rucker, Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood, Lorrie Morgan, Kelly Clarkson, and the Carpenters .
Best wishes for a happy, healthy 2010!
The summer was spent spending money. New roof, gutters, house painting, custom window shades, high-end recliner, sofa--the list could have gone on longer if the school year didn't arrive August 26. I'm very pleased with the home improvements, and am even more excited about resuming those twice-monthly paychecks!
For the second consecutive year, I am teaching 3rd-grade. Professional responsibilites have consumed a huge chunk of my leisure time, so I had to postpone the Vortex show planned for November. Keep the weekend of March 12-14 open--Vortex Theatre will present Searching For Karen Carpenter , an interactive, improvisationally-based American Idol -like night of comedy and Carpenters music. As with Death Idol last February, the ticket price will include a free Italian Buffet meal provided by Alex & Aldo's Restaurant. I will return as Master of Ceremonies.
Artists I listened to during the summer months included UFO, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Ashton Shepherd, Outlaws, Paul Brandt, Thin Lizzy, Sugarland, Jackson Browne, Joan Osborne, Black Hawk, Pink, Heart, Doug Supernaw, David Frizzell and Shelley West, Holly Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, Megon McDonough, Lee Ann Womack, Abba, Carpenters, George Strait, Juice Newton, and Brad Paisley.
Enjoy the rest of 2009!
It is with great sadness that I must report that on May 13, my dear mother, Gladys Metz , lost her long battle with Scleroderma. Thankfully, she entered Eternal Life peacefully and painlessly. I sang Every Day Should Be Mother's Day at her graveside service, and had to adjust a few of the lyrics from present to past tense. We all miss Mom and my brother Brian terribly,but are comforted in the knowledge that they are healthy once more, residing in Heaven.
Between hospital visits, April, May, and June kept me busy with the final remaining Graduate courses I needed to max out at Masters plus 60 hours on the salary schedule. At present, I will be teaching 3rd-grade again this fall. I don't feel it is a good fit for me, but I will give it my best shot...
June, July, and August will be spent writing songs and dialogue for Vortex Theatre's November production of Village of Roses--The Early Years . Current plans are to mix in some original and traditional music with narration and scene bits about frontier Illinois in the 1800s. I also plan to record a version of the Village of Roses song, and make it available at the performances. Check back in October for more specific show details.
Artists I listened to these past months included Pat Green, Duffy, Slaughter, Dierks Bentley, Carly Simon, Alanis Morissette, Lifehouse, Tanya Tucker, Sugarland, Daughty, Little Big Town, Lindsey Buckingham, Kenny Chesney, Pink, Joni Mitchell, Ryan Silver, Rodney Atkins, Wishes, Deep Purple, Skid Row, Jessica Simpson, Keith Urban, England Dan and John Ford Coley, Martina McBride, John Rich, Hootie and the Blowfish, Tom Petty, and UFO .
Neil Simon once said, "There are only so many summers in one's lifetime." Hope yours is healthy, safe, and enjoyable!
Most of January and February were spent preparing for the Vortex Theatre production of Death Idol . I was the host, and sang a few songs. The show was well-attended, and the new performance space is favorable for small-scale musical events. I will spend the summer months writing new songs for the November production of Village of Roses . It will be a concert/narration running for two weekends, Nov 13-15 and Nov 20-22. Check in October for details.
March was spent attending Graduate classes to enhance my teaching credentials. I'm taking three more courses this Spring. When I finish in early June, I will possess a Master's degree plus 60 additional credit hours. The summer cannot come fast enough!
Artists I listened to the past few months include Gavin DeGraw, Britney Spears, Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band, Blue Oyster Cult, Taylor Swift, Neil Diamond, Kathy Mattea, Hall and Oates, Rossington Collins Band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Christina Aguilera, ZZ Top, Heart, Lucinda Williams, Martina McBride, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Partridge Family, Adele, Don Williams, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Katy Perry, Captain and Tennille, Janis Ian, Elvis Presley, Sara Evans, Robert Plant, Matthew Nathenson, Doors, White Lion, Wreckers, Neil Young, Kelly Clarkson, Ian McLagan, Jake Owen, Duffy, Wynonna, Styx, Pat Green, Slaughter, and Dierks Bentley.
My dear brother Brian entered eternal life last April. I'll leave you with a poem he wrote in 5th-grade:
By Brian K. Metz
The Winter is gone
The bees sting
Time for a song
Today is sunny
What a nice day
Look at that bunny
It's almost May!
On the weekend of Feb 20-22, 2009 I will play the singing host in Death Idol . Details are below. Hope to see you there!
Vortex Theatre Presents
Enjoy a buffet Italian meal from Alex & Aldo's Ristorante and
participate in this interactive production. Audience members
are part of the action, serving as judges, fans, and contestants'
relatives. These middle-aged singers have issues, but they can
sing a mean karaoke! One will die...
Co-Starring : Lori D'Asta , Joan Kuchar, Gary Charles Metz , and Cliff Nehmzow
Showdates : February 20-22, 2009
Fri-Sat 7:30 pm; Sunday at 2pm
Tickets : Adults $15 in advance; $18 at the door
Seniors/Students $13 in advance; $15 at the door
Location : Community Park District of LaGrange Park
1501 Barnsdale Road, LaGrange Park, IL 60526
Buffet Includes: A variety of thin-crust pizzas
Mostaccioli with Marinara Sauce
Tuna Salad Croissants
A variety of Finger Sandwiches
Bread and Butter
Directions : From the intersection of LaGrange/Mannheim Road and 31st Street in LaGrange Park ,
Proceed east on 31st Street 5 blocks to the Forest Road traffic signal
Turn left (north) on Forest
Proceed 1 block to 30th Street .
Turn right (east) on 30th Street ;
Proceed 2 blocks to Barnsdale Road
Turn left (north) on Barnsdale Road
Proceed 3 blocks to Community Park District of LaGrange Park
Recreation Center , 1501 Barnsdale Road , on right (east) side of street.
The fall season was an active one. After teaching 5th-grade for the past 13 years, I now teach 3rd-grade. I also took three more Graduate courses. I now have four remaining, which I will take in March, April, and May. These 61 additional hours beyond my Master's degree will "max" me out on the salary schedule, and will give me a commitment-free (as of now) summer to relax.
The Holiday Season was a bittersweet one for my family and me, as we continue to deal with the loss of my dear brother Brian who passed away in April. He is truly missed, however, the Season of Joy brought back many fond memories from our childhood days. Brian lives on in spirit!
In November, I was invited to sing lead vocals on Peace on Earth , a track from the Holiday Treasures cd my friends Joyce Tumea and Sharon West wrote and produced. It was my first trip back to the recording studio in eight years, and it brought back many pleasant memories of the Dare To Be Kind recording project back in 2000. Holiday Treasures has 14 original songs, all written by Joyce and Sharon. The title track brings tears to my eyes with every listen. To hear samples, or to order this fine recording, visit www.dustydreams.com .
I found time to listen to many cds these past few months by Sawyer Brown, Luke Bryan, Eddy Raven, Abba, Paul Thom, Laura Nyro, Toby Keith, Heidi Newfield, Jessica Andrews, Dokken, Lisa Kirk, Restless Heart, James Otto, Winger, Janis Ian, Little Big Town, Les Paul, Glen Campbell, Steve Perry, Captain and Tennille, Kellie Pickler, Whitesnake, Warrant, The Partridge Family, Lindsey Buckingham, Judas Priest, Darius Rucker, Now 29, Cheap Trick, Randy Owen, Boz Scaggs, Trick Pony, Britney Spears, Mary Chapin Carpenter, T.G. Sheppard, Carly Simon, and Gavin DeGraw.
January and February will be hectic, as preparations are made for Death Idol , an orginal, improvisationally-based musical spoof of the popular television series of a similar title. Death Idol will be the first production for Vortex Theatre in the new Recreation Center. As of this writing, I am slated to be one of the contestants. The $18 ticket price will include a buffet-style Italian meal from LaGrange Park's famous Alex & Aldo's Ristorante, and all audience members will be part of the show. Showdates are Feb 20-22. Fri-Sat performances are at 7:30 pm; the Sunday matinee on Feb 22 begins at 2pm. Check back in January for more details.
Best wishes to all for a happy, healthy 2009. Hope to see you at Death Idol!
The summer was a busy time spent taking Graduate courses, purchasing my dearly departed brother Brian's Ft. Lauderdale condo on the Intercoastal Waterway, and simply relaxing. The start of the new school year found me in a new classroom teaching 3rd-grade after 13 years teaching 5th-grade and 4 years of teaching 6th-grade. Needless to say, the change has been a challenge, however, it has been rewarding as well.
I'm continuing with my Graduate coursework this fall, taking 10 credit hours thru December. In addition, I am finalizing plans for a return to the Vortex Theatre stage with a Feb. 20-22, 2009 musical murder mystery production I developed. Death Idol is a loosely-based spoof of the wildly successful American Idol television series. Check back later for more specific details.
If you're looking for a good new book to read, try Society's Child , the recently published autobiography by singer-songwriter Janis Ian . Musical download royalties for Every Day Should Be Mother's Day continue to trickle in, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the veteran reggae artist Prince Mohammed has covered my Gal Like You on a Various Artists recording entitled Reggae Recall: The Lion Roars, Vol. 1 . It is a download-only release available via Licensemusic.com. I'm curious to hear what a reggae version of my blues-influenced version of the tune sounds like.
Cds in my car and home stereo included recordings by Ella Fitzgerald, Leona Lewis, Abba, Laura Nyro, Paul Thom, Melissa Etheridge, Highway 101, Daughtry, Kimi Hayes, Sugarland, Joni Mitchell, Sonny James, Little Big Town, Jessica Andrews, Janis Ian, Gwen Stefani, Agathea/Frida, George Strait, Sara Bareilles, Dolly Parton, and Patty Larkin.
Hope your autumn is relaxing and productive!
I've spent the majority of the summer months taking Graduate courses. In doing so, I'm not only increasing my knowledge, but keeping busy as I come to terms with the reality that I will not see my dear brother Brian again until we rejoice together in Heaven. Brian would spend a good deal of his summers at my house, and I would spend Thanksgiving and Spring Breaks at his Ft. Lauderdale home on the Intercoastal Waterway. I will return to his home in late-July to close on the purchase of the home he was so proud of--my sister Linda, my brother Steve, and I have decided to keep the place he loved as a tribute to Brian's memory. It will be a difficult trip, knowing Brian will not be there to greet me.
Musically, the summer has been a bust. With the coursework and various annoyances settling Brian's estate occupying my time, I haven't picked up my guitar since April. I have managed to read several terrific biographies about Bobby Murcer, Don Felder, Billy Williams, Gary Carter, Jose Canseco, Babe Ruth, Irving Berlin, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon.
I've also enjoyed listening to cds by Eddy Raven, Ella Fitzgerald, Kinks, Tony Orlando & Dawn, Ginny Simms, Kelli Pickler, Debi K., Madonna, Carly Simon, B-52s, Neil Diamond, Lady Antebellum, Now 27-28, Miranda Lambert, Lindsey Buckingham, Eddy Arnold, Alan Jackson, Jessica Andrews, Eagles, Nelli Furtado, UFO, Montgomery-Gentry, Cheryl Wheeler, James Otto, Alanis Morissette, David Houston, Gwen Stefani, and Leona Lewis.
I hope you enjoy these precious remaining summer days!
On April 4, I lost my dear brother Brian to complications from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). He battled for 14 months, but even my 100% match stem cell transplant could not conquer a deadly disease that strikes with little or no warning, and has become increasingly common in people of all ages. Brian touched the lives of many, was loved by many more, and will be dearly missed. He wrote the lyrics to "Live ," the ninth track on my Dare To Be Kind cd. I am comforted and grateful that Brian was able to spend many quality months in my home surrounded by family, and is healthy once more, residing in Heaven.
I am trying to channel my grief into an artistic endeavor of some sort, and am still formulating ideas. I'm sorry to say that singing at Brian's funeral was the first time I had picked up my guitar since last September. Perhaps a few live performances this summer will get the creativity flowing once more...
During the winter months, I found time to read books about Fleetwood Mac, Darrell Porter, Bill Freehan, and Babe Ruth . I also listened to cds by Sara Evans, Brad Paisley, UFO, Alabama, Rodney Atkins, Fleetwood Mac, Jefferson Starship, Bob Welch, Carrie Underwood, Kathy Mattea, Eddy Raven, Olivia Newton-John, Brooks & Dunn, Eagles, Now 26, Shelby Lynne, Van Zant, Anne Murray, Dusty Springfield, Hits of 1933 and 1934, k.d. lang, Jo Dee Messina, Dierkes Bentley, K.T. Tunstall, Josh Turner, Les Paul & Mary Ford, Amy Winehouse, Lucinda Williams, Sonny & Cher, The Wreckers, Keith Anderson, The Kinks, and George Strait.
I hope the Spring Season finds you happy, alive, and well!
I hope you enjoyed a festive, fun-filled Holiday Season. I like Vince Gill's description of the Christmas Season as being a time we hit the pause button, remembering what the true meaning of Christmas is, and spending quality time with family and friends.
Last Oct 15, I donated my stem cells to my brother Brian, who was in need of a transplant to conquer his Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. As I write this, Brian is nearing the end of his 100 days of Isolation. We're hoping his mid-January bone marrow biopsy reveals that the transplant has made him cancer-free. Prayers are appreciated!
As his caregiver, I have had lots of time to formulate an artistic plan for the year ahead. It will likely include a return to the stage and a possible cd recording. I was pleased to receive an email from Jim Jenkins , the owner of WAGS Radio in Bishopville, South Carolina. He inquired about my progress on any follow-up cds to Dare To Be Kind . We had a pleasant phone chat, and Jim told me he has still been giving A Road You've Walked Before and She Won't Be Lonely Long some airplay. Wish we had a station like WAGS Radio in Chicagoland--thank you, Jim!
I read some excellent books about the Armenian Genocide, a book by Carol Anne Harris about her wild times with Fleetwood Mac , and biographies by Johnny Damon, Eric Clapton, Ronnie Wood , and Denise Jackson , among others.
Recording artists in my cd player included Kathy Baillie, Tammy Wynette, America, Pam Tillis, Montgomery-Gentry, Helen Forrest, Reba McEntire, Semisonic, K.T. Tunstall, Kelly Clarkson, REO Speedwagon, Fleetwood Mac, Ella Fitzgerald, Annie Lennox, Ann Wilson, Lacy J. Dalton, Jefferson Starship, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Kim Richey, Eagles, Suzy Bogguss, Sugarland, Sara Evans, Rolling Stones, Brad Paisley, Little Big Town, Songs of 1934, Steve Wariner, Joan Osborne, Anne Murray, Walter Egan, Heart, Atlanta Rhythm Section, and UFO.
Thank you for visiting my site, and for your interest in my music. Best wishes for a happy, healthy 2008!
The late-Spring and early Summer days were filled with the singing sounds of the cicadas. This was their first visit since 1990. The cicadas may have saved the life of Gemini, the cat that had been missing for six weeks from my nieces and nephews' home. Gemini, a house cat, was found in the bushes, three houses away. It is likely that Gemini's diet had chiefly consisted of cicadas.
Unfortunately, family health issues continue. My brother Brian has been staying with me since May, undergoing periodic Chemotherapy treatments for his rare form of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Thankfully, I am a 100% donor match, and we are hopeful that Brian will undergo a Stem-Cell/Bone Marrow transplant in early October. Please keep Brian in your prayers.
I found time this summer to read The Burning Tigris , a gripping, engaging book about the Armenian Genocides of the late-19th and early 20th Centuries. Other reading included an autobiographies by David Ortiz, Gary Sheffield David Wells , and Anita O'Day , a biography of George Brett , Miracle Collapse , and and two books about the great Kansas City Royals' baseball teams of the 1970s and 1980s.
I did not do any writing this summer, however I was pleased to receive another check for Every Day Should Be Mother's Day downloads. I also found time to listen to cds by Montgomery-Gentry, Jake Owen, Martina McBride, Johnette Nepolitano, Miranda Lambert, Ella Fitzgerald, Chick Webb, T. Graham Brown, Anita Baker, Brad Paisley, Styx, Anita O'Day, Blondie, Shania Twain, Tantrum, George Jones, Little Big Town, Sugarland, Alison Krauss, Now 25, Fleetwood Mac, Point Blank, Joe Nichols, and America.
Enjoy the magnificent autumn weather!
Family health issues dominated the Spring months. Thankfully, my brother Brian has responded well to his treatments for a rare form of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. I made three trips to be with him during his Chemotherapy at the University of Miami. Thankfully, I am a 100% match, and will be Brian's donor when he has his Stem-Cell Bone Marrow transplant in June!
Music is a healer, and I listened to cds by The Plot, Ella Fitzgerald, Elton John, Chick Webb Orchestra, Amos Lee, Darrell Evans, REO Speedwagon, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Patti Smith, Jack Ingram, Anita Baker, Shooter Jennings, Taylor Swift, K.T. Tunstall, Corinne Bailey Rae, Jake Owen, and Martina McBride.
While in Florida, I read the bestselling The Secret . It's a feel-good book that encourages positive thinking. Nothing wrong with that! I also received a check for download sales of Every Day Should Be Mother's Day .
Right now, all summer and early-autumn plans are on hold, until Brian is well. Hope you enjoy a terrific summer, and please add/keep my brother Brian Metz in your prayers!
The busy winter months were spent listening to the sounds of Jo Dee Messina, Carly Simon, That Girl, Montgomery-Gentry, Vince Gill, Journey, George Strait, T. Graham Brown, Suzy Bogguss, Big House, Ratt, Joan Osborne, Kathy Mattea, Ella Fitzgerald, John Mellencamp, Chick Webb, Jennifer Nettles, Pirates of the Mississippi, Brad Paisley, Stevie Nicks, Diana Ross, and Elton John.
I also performed in February with the PriMerry Players as the only male in Joyce Tumea's Women of the West . It felt good to be back onstage singing, playing, and acting again. I still plan to update Village of Roses for a November performance for Vortex Theatre in the new Rec Center in LaGrange Park. Check back in the summer for details.
In late February, my brother Brian was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He has been undergoing aggressive Chemotherapy treatments at the Sylvester Cancer Center in Miami. I made two lengthy trips there in March, and will travel there in April, too. Thankfully, I was tested and learned that I am a 100% match for a Stem-Cell bone marrow transplant. If all goes well, this should take place in May. Please keep my brother Brian in your prayers!
God bless, and remember--Every Day Should Be Mother's Day !
The Holiday Season is in full-swing, following a busy autumn. For the first time since 2001, Vortex Theatre did not stage a November production. We will be moving to a new, less-conventional space as early as this April. At the moment, I am contemplating a Village of Roses revival, to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of our 1997 inaugural production. If we do a full-blown musical theatre version like the original, it will probably have to wait till next fall, however, a scaled-down, one-man musical narrative version is also possible for April. Stay tuned...
I spent Thanksgiving Break in Ft. Lauderdale with my brother, and we saw Shut Up and Sing , a fine documentary about the Dixie Chicks . There were also downloads of Every Day Should Be Mother's Day from I-Tunes in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.
In September and October, I saw concerts by Rosanne Cash and Lindsey Buckingham in cozy, intimate settings. Even with little radio airplay, these fine musicians continue to entertain into their fifties. Both had new cds in 2006; Rosanne's Black Cadillac is up for a Grammy Award.
Other artists I listened to included REO Speedwagon, Darrell Evans, Helen Reddy, Outlaws, Rossington, That Dog, Jennifer Nettles, Don Henley, Lee Ann Womack, Rossington-Collins Band, Montgomery-Gentry, Alan Jackson, Jen Trynin, Kathy Mattea, Karla Bonoff, Dixie Chicks, Melanie Phippard, Ginny Simms, Fleetwood Mac, UFO, Ella Fitzgerald, Vince Gill, Patti Smith, Little Big Town, T. Graham Brown, Patricia Conroy, George Strait, Bruce Springsteen, Sugarland, Bing Crosby, Hits of 1935, Keith Urban, Jo Dee Messina, and Christmas cds by Kathy Mattea, Suzy Bogguss, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marilyn McCoo, Steve Wariner, Heart, and Paul Brandt.
Best wishes for a joyous Holiday Season, and a happy, healthy 2007!
Another summer has raced by, but this past one was an enjoyable and productive one. I finished the songs for the Thank You cd, and they now reside in the capable hands of Kate Nir , my talented musical arranger. No plans have been set to begin recording--it helps to have a healthy bank account--but I've been rehearsing the 13 new tunes, and will incorporate them in with the 16 songs from the Dare To Be Kind cd at future performances. Stay tuned...
Download sales continue to come in; purchases were made by Canadians, Australians, and Americans this summer. Artists I listened to these past few months included Carly Simon, REO Speedwagon, Carrie Underwood, Dusty Springfield, Jen Trynin, T. Graham Brown, K.T. Oslin, Judy Garland, Ella Fitgerald, The Subdudes, Helen Reddy, Josh Turner, Darrell Evans, and Kathy Mattea.
Enjoy these precious remaining autumn days!
The past months have been busy ones. I visited my brother in Ft. Lauderdale for Spring Break and saw Kathy Mattea in concert in March. She and her band just keep getting better! In April, I received an email request for sheet music for Every Day Should Be Mother's Day . I emailed a lead/lyric sheet with my thanks for the interest. Download sales for Every Day Should Be Mother's Day continue to trickle in, so it must be getting airplay somewhere. Perhaps I should publish sheet music for the entire Dare To Be Kind cd. Maybe someday...
I took a five day trip in mid-June to St. Simons Island in Georgia to attend the wedding of my childhood friend Eric and his new bride Christal. It was my first summer trip in 17 years. I always enjoy the Northern Illinois summers, but it was good to get away. Now, I'm preparing for my brother Brian's monthlong visit as my houseguest.
July will bring about the finalization of songs for the Thank You cd recording. I also plan to update Village of Roses with the intention of staging it for Vortex Theatre next Spring. Artists I listened to during the past few months included Jennifer Nettles, Alabama, McBride & The Ride, Carly Simon, Montgomery-Gentry, Freda Payne, T. Graham Brown, Gladys Knight & The Pips, k.d. lang, Helen Reddy, Judas Priest, Heart, Millie Jackson, Radney Foster, Pam Tillis, Wendy Waldman, Judy Garland, Miranda Lambert, Lari White, and Kathy Mattea.
Neil Simon once said, "There are only so many summers in one's lifetime." I hope you enjoy this one!
Songs are being finalized for my Thank You cd. I'd say the chances are 30-70 for a recording project this summer, but I've been known to change my mind. I can't see it happening any later than Summer 2007. As the end of the school year approaches, I'll have to decide which is most important: a new car, a new roof, or the Thank You cd. I'm hoping people will help convince me that the time is now ! Emails are always welcome...
Enjoy the Spring, and remember...Every Day Should Be Mother's Day !
I'm hoping to record Thank You , my Contemporary Christian cd, this summer. The tweaking process is nearly complete; soon it will be time to finalize the arrangements, contact the musicians, and book studio time. I also plan to play a few informal solo shows during the Spring and Summer months. Stay tuned...
There's lots of great music and artists who deserve to be heard. This month, I cranked cds by Patricia Conroy, Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash, Kathy Mattea, McBride & the Ride, Lisa Brokop, Doobie Brothers, Mary Gaither, Janis Ian, Carly Simon, Tantrum, and Ronnie Wood.
Can't wait for my March 24-Apr 2 Spring Break trip to South Florida. Happy Spring to all!
It appears that I will be updating my Village of Roses musical for a 10th Anniversary production for Vortex Theatre in 2007. Nothing has been finalized, but we had always mentioned that we should do the show again. I plan to write more songs, and get the female characters more involved. Stay tuned.
When I wasn't attended night classes, artists I listened to in January included Carly Simon, Ben Harper, Tantrum, Steve Wariner , Buddy Miller, Johnny Cash , and Kathy Mattea .
Another Holiday Season has passed, and it's time to start tackling some long-unfulfilled goals of mine. It's said that if you "go public" with your resolutions, there's a greater likelihood of actually succeeding. That said, I resolve to book more live gigs in 2006, and record another cd. The songs are 90% complete; I now need to perform them live to get the kinks out, and ready for the studio. Stay tuned...
December was "Carly Simon Month " in my house. My sister Linda and I attended Carly's first Chicago concert in over 30(!) years at the historic Chicago Theatre on Dec 6, and the sellout crowd wasn't disappointed. The average age was probably 52, and the ratio of women to men was probably 4:1. The four kids in the Metz household spent a good portion of the '70s and early '80s cranking her No Secrets, Hotcakes, Playing Possum , and other albums while growing up. When Carly strapped on her guitar and played "Anticipation ," I was back in grade school all over again! Her Moonlight Serenade cd is up for a Grammy Award this year, and I think it's very deserving of the award.
Other artists I found time for this month were Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery-Gentry, Tanya Tucker, Jenai, Ella Fitgerald, Heart, and Sign of 4, a side project for Phil Mogg , the lead vocalist of UFO.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy 2006!
The Vortex Theatre production of Let's Murder Marsha was a terrific success. I enjoyed being onstage again, and my annual five-day Ft. Lauderdale vacation visit with my brother Brian for Thanksgiving Break provided a welcome breather.
With the play in my past, I'm hoping this month will be a productive one for my songwriting. It's been a long time since I last picked up my guitar, and I look forward to playing it many times during the Holiday Season. It was a pleasant surprise recently to receive a check from ASCAP for international royalties. Somebody must be playing my music overseas...
I enjoyed cds by Radney Foster, Liz Phair, Joe Nichols, Concrete Blonde, Robert Plant, Tanya Tucker, Hits of 1937 , and Brooks & Dunn . Hope you enjoy a festive Christmas Season!
Tech Week has begun for the Vortex Theatre production of Let's Murder Marsha . It's been fun rehearsing for this zany comedy that will run for the first three weekends of the month. I play the role of Marsha's hubby, whom she mistakenly thinks is going to murder her. For ticket info, click on Show Dates , or visit www.vortexlgp.org .
The play, the White Sox' incredible playoff run, and a busy start to the school year have kept me from picking up my guitar for a long while. As much as I'm enjoying Let's Murder Marsha , I am looking forward to having some free time later this month to do some writing and singing. Despite moderate damage from Hurricane Wilma, I still plan to visit my brother Brian in Ft. Lauderdale for Thanksgiving Break. That will usher in a period of welcome "calm" for me!
I listened to some very strong albums recently by Kathy Mattea, Allison Krauss and Union Station, Patti Smith, Marty Stuart, Hits of 1937, Robert Plant, and the much-maligned Liz Phair . Hope you can make it out to see Let's Murder Marsha !
It's been hectic, but fun. Kate Nir is working meticulously at arranging the tunes for my next recording project, and I've been rehearsing 3-4 times per week for Vortex Theatre's November production of Let's Murder Marsha . I play Marsha's husband, whom Marsha thinks is planning to murder her. It's a funny, tame comedy. For ticket info, click on Show Dates , or visit www.vortexlgp.org .
Cds I've listened to in the past month include works by Rosanne Cash, Kitty Kallen, UFO, Wynonna, Judds, Ronnie Milsap, Kay Starr, Phoebe Snow, Paul Brandt, Lucinda Williams, Black Hawk, Patty Larkin, Pat Benatar, and Alison Krauss and Union Station .
Hope you're enjoying these magnificent autumn days!
August was a very productive month. I finalized the thirteen songs for my Contemporary Christian recording, and delivered a cassette tape to the talented Kate Nir so she could begin working on the arrangements. Kate did a tremendous job arranging the music for the Dare To Kind cd, so my songs are in good hands!
I spent lots of time reading scripts for the November Vortex Theatre production. At the moment, it appears that we will be staging Let's Murder Marsha , a wacky comedy. I may also be appearing in it. Check back in October for more details.
School is back in session, and I have welcomed the return of a structured schedule. I have a small, well-behaved class of 19 fifth-graders. Our new reading series is a throwback to the times when I was growing up--reading groups. It's been said that everything in education goes in cycles. I suppose that after fifteen years as a classroom teacher, it was about time I experienced this traditional teaching strategy.
Cds I played this past month included works by Donna Summer, Jimi Hendrix, Doris Day, Faith Hill, Ella Fitzgerald, Dolly Parton, Concrete Blonde, White Stripes, Alabama, UFO, and Rosanne Cash.
The download statements from I-Tunes , Rhapsody , and Music Net keep rolling in. Five more people paid to download Every Day Should Be Mother's Day . Oh, but to have Kenny Chesney's promotional budget...
My brother Brian spent the better part of July as my houseguest. Much of the month was spent visiting with family and friends. Softball came to a merciful end; my joints feel MUCH better, two weeks after the final pitch! Many exciting evenings were spent watching my niece Michelle win a baseball tournament in Westmont. My sister Linda treated me to Robert Plant's concert at Chicago's historic Auditiorium Theatre. The show was entertaining, albeit brief for a legendary vocalist with a career that stretches back over 35 years.
I finished reading Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life . The book had been gifted to me by my late Aunt Mary, and stimulated my mind with many insightful questions. I didn't agree with everything he had to say, but the book was effective. The summer months also find me reading the daily newspapers from cover-to-cover--something I rarely get to do during the school year.
Cds I've listened to recently include works by Point Blank, Marshall Tucker Band, Kimi Hayes, UFO, Doris Day, Rod Stewart, Jimi Hendrix, Sugarland, Donna Summer, and Alan Jackson.
Digital download sales continue to roll in. Download purchases from the Dare To Be Kind cd included Every Day Should Be Mother's Day, Dare To Be Kind, Cherish The Memories, and The Problem Child.
I'm very close to finishing the gospel songs I'm planning to include on a Contemporary Christian-genred cd. The goal is to be completely satisfied with them prior to the start of school August 22. Enjoy these precious remaining summer days!
School's out, and I've been working on songs for the Contemporary Christian cd. It's been a slow go, but I still have lots of time to finalize things before school begins August 22. Digital download payments continue to accumulate for Every Day Should Be Mother's Day . Fifty-one listeners purchased downloads during April-May, and one listener purchased a download of Dare To Be Kind . The internet has been a great vehicle for "unknowns" like me to have their music heard. I have no idea where the songs are receiving radio airplay, but it's pretty cool to be able to touch people with my music, without playing live in smoky clubs, or going on a concert tour.
I'm still playing softball, but this will definitely be my swan song season. The aches and pains are more frequent, and it's time to move on to more "middle-agey" things. I'm not quite halfway finished with The Purpose-Driven Life , and I'm enjoying it very much. I also finished Devil In The White City and Rivals , a well-written chronicle of the classic Chris Evert-Martina Navratilova tennis rivalry.
I've listened to lots of music this summer, including recordings by Blackfoot, Peter Frampton, Crash Test Dummies, Outlaws, Christina Aguilera, Doobie Brothers, Debe Welch, Hayseed Dixie, AC/DC, Sarah Vaughan, Barry Manilow, Rod Stewart, Point Blank, Marshall Tucker Band, and Kimi Hayes.
Have a fun, safe summer!
I just completed the busiest May in recent memory. On May 1, I hosted my nephew Michael's first Communion at my cozy home. I had a great time May 3 performing and answering questions for the Downers Grove Music Club . That was the first time I decided to leave my guitar at home, and sing to tracks. May 8 was an especially memorable Mother's Day , as we took my mom out for one of the few times since her aortic valve-replacement surgery last December. She's getting better with each passing day. Cherish every moment with your loved ones!
I also took another Graduate course. To fill the few empty spaces on my calendar, I was asked to play softball for the York Tavern softball team. I pitched, and went 2-for-3 at the plate. It's like riding a bike, I guess; I expect to receive more "distress calls" in the coming weeks. On May 14, I was a volunteer for LaGrange Park's annual Run For The Roses for the ninth consecutive year. It's a lot easier directing traffic than running the race!
On May 20, I was part of the wedding party for my friend Rob Pold and his new wife, Cheryl . The ceremony was held outdoors on a beautiful evening, and Rob and Frank Valach , his best man, were even able to dance a bit. Both were critically injured in January, and are recovering well.
The following night, my Butterfield School colleagues participated in a farewell party for Jim Quilty, our retiring principal. Great food, great people, great time! Stephanie Herman , who had fought the spread of breast cancer for nearly four years, made a courageous appearance. We were all thankful that she gave us all the opportunity to say goodbye prior to her passing on May 25. She was a Master Teacher and Master Person who will be greatly missed.
Artists in my cd player included Keith Urban, Ginny Simms, Crash Test Dummies, Doobie Brothers, Anita Baker, Robert Plant, Al Bowlly, Debe Welch, Van Zant, and Blackfoot.
Hopefully, my July entry will give you some news about my new recording project. I'm still tweaking songs, but I still plan to record a Contemporary Christian cd of original songs. Summer is just about here--have a great one!
April began with my return home from an always welcome vacation to visit my brother Brian in Ft. Lauderdale. Sadly, my Aunt Mary lost her long, courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. I sang "Glad I Knew Her" at her funeral, and will dedicate to her memory the Contemporary Christian cd I still plan to record this summer. There's been a whole lot of "tweaking" going on with the songs, so I should be ready to have them arranged by early June.
May 3, I will sing "Every Day Should Be Mother's Day" and "Thank You" at a meeting of the Downers Grove Music Club. Several other area musicians will also be performing their original works. Afterward, we will field questions regarding the composition and recording process. Admission is free. For info, click on Show Dates .
This past month, I took a very enlightening graduate course, "Disenabling the Enabler." I've already applied what I've learned from the course to my teaching and my relationships with colleagues, family, and friends. I'll be taking another course later this month.
Recordings I listened to during the past month were by Neil Young, Crash Test Dummies, White Stripes, Shooting Star, Earl Thomas Conley, Exile, Burnin' Daylight, Black Rose, Ginny Simms, and Keith Urban.
Don't forget that Every Day Should Be Mother's Day!
March was a very active month. I took a graduate course that met three nights per week, and will do the same in April and May to satisfy my teaching recertification requirements. I also did some tweaking of the songs I'm preparing for my Contemporary Christian recording. I'd like to have the songs completed by June, and to record in July/August.
I closed the month with a very welcome trip to Ft. Lauderdale Florida to visit my brother Brian. His condo on the intercoastal has become a regular Thanksgiving and Spring Break respite for me. Sadly, my dear Aunt Mary lost her battle with pancreatic cancer on April 1. I was honored to sing at her funeral service, and to be the recipient of her copy of The Purpose Driven Life . I plan to read it this summer. It was also gratifying to re-connect with many of my cousins, aunts, and uncles. Aunt Mary's passing brought the family back together; please don't wait for a loved one to die for you to become closer to those most dear to you!
Cds and Lps I listened to last month were by Deborah Allen, Al Bowlly, The Stone Roses, Loretta Lynn, Judas Priest, Shooting Star, Jamie O'Neal, Crash Test Dummies , and Neil Young .
Hope you're enjoying the terrific Spring weather!
I'm happy to report that my good friends Rob Pold and Frank Valach are in much better condition than they were last month. It will still be a long recovery process for both of them, but they have been blessed with great physicians and friends to see them through their crises. Rob even felt well enough to propose to his longtime girlfriend Cheryl. I'll be standing up for their May 20 wedding.
I also paid a visit to see my Aunt Mary, who is seriously ill. My father, Uncle Elmer, and cousin Kathy sang old standards from the 1940s and reminisced about better days. I pray that she will remain upbeat and comfortable. Please keep her in your prayers. I truly believe that music is a healer, and the visit inspired me to get moving on the wealth of unfinished Contemporary Christian/Gospel songs I've had stashed in a "Someday" folder. The progress was quick, and enlightening. I plan to continue tweaking what I have this spring, and record a cd this summer.
Speaking of recording, it was nice to have to read up on Income Tax instructions I had been unaccustomed to referencing in years past. It was a pleasure to have to report some income from ASCAP this past year. Digital downloads from the Dare To Be Kind cd continue to be reported, too. If any of you have had even the slightest desire to record a cd, I strongly suggest going for it!
It felt good to return to the Vortex Theatre stage again, this time in a supporting role in the comedy Eat Your Heart Out . The cast was enthusiastic, committed, and talented, making a well-received production that much more gratifying. It's hard to believe that Vortex just completed its eighth full season and 24th(!) production.
Cds and Lps I listened to last month were by Point Blank, Della Reese, Lacy J. Dalton, Michael Penn, Kansas, Wade Hayes , Juliana Hatfield Three, The Stone Roses, Katy Rose, Rossington, Deborah Allen, and Neil Young.
Have a terrific March!
Most of the month of January was spent preparing for the Vortex Theatre production of Nick Hall's comedy Eat Your Heart Out . It will be fun to be back on stage again, this time in a supporting role. For show info, click on Show Dates . I also firmed up plans to record a Contemporary Christian cd sometime this year. I'm in the process of tweaking a number of original gospel songs I've written over the years, and will get them to an arranger sometime this spring.
On Jan 3, Rob Pold , my good friend and fellow founding member of Vortex Theatre , was struck by a car traveling at high speed. He suffered a fractured skull, a broken arm, broken leg, and other injuries. The next night, Frank Valach , another theatrical friend, had a serious car accident. Rob is recovering fairly well, but Frank's recuperation has been less positive. On a good note, my mom continues to slowly regain her strength as she recovers from her Dec 17 aortic valve-replacement surgery. It's amazing what surgeons are capable of doing. I also had a long-overdue visit with my Aunt Mary, who has pancreatic cancer. It brought back several pleasant childhood memories. Please add these special people to your prayer lists.
Cds I've listened to recently were by The Who, Vixen, Grand Funk, Pam Tillis, Della Reese, Point Blank, Keith Urban , and a wonderful compiltion called Hits of 1938 .
Hope you can make it out to see Eat Your Heart Out!
I'm happy to report that my mother's heart valve-replacement surgery was a success! It will be a long, slow recovery process, but all prayers have been answered! She actually came home on Christmas Day, which was much sooner than expected. This has certainly been a blessed Holiday Season!
Most of the month of December was spent at the hospital. There was lots of waiting, postponements, and worrying, but the prognosis is for a full recovery. Many thanks to all who kept my dear mother in their prayers these past few months. Don't ever underestimate the power of prayer!
I've been fine-tuning some songs for a possible Contemporary-Christian recording. I think I have enough material to make a "go" of it. I just need to take the time to start doing some revising. I'm not going to rush it, though.
I will be returning to the stage in Vortex Theatre's February production of Nick Hall's Eat Your Heart Out . It's a light-hearted comedy that brings back memories of the funny, tame skits on the Carol Burnett Show . For ticket information, click on Showdates.
Music in my cd player included albums by Clint Black, Gretchen Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, UFO, The Who, Vixen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, 38 Special, Jimmy Wakely, Marilyn McCoo , and Kathy Mattea .
Best wishes for a happy, healthy 2005!
The Holiday Season has begun, and the flakes are falling as I type this. A mere two days ago, I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt while dining on bisque outdoors in sunny Ft. Lauderdale. I spent what has now become my annual Thanksgiving Break in Florida with my brother Brian. The weather was terrific, and it was a much-needed break from homeownership and work-related tasks.
I had an interesting/tense experience one day at school as a Lifeline/Phone-A-Friend for my friend Rob Pold , who appeared on the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire program. Thankfully, he didn't need to use me as a sports and country music reference, but when the phone rang, and I saw the "212" area code on the caller ID, my nerves shot through the roof. It was only a production assistant telling me that Rob had finished his taping, and that I wouldn't need to stay near the phone anymore. I can't wait to find out if Rob is a millionaire. He can't reveal anything about the program until after it airs in late-February, but I've got a good feeling he walked away a winner!
I managed to get the guitar out of its case last month, too. No new music yet, but I can feel inspiration beginning to develop; December has been one of my best months for songwriting. I also received my second royalty check from ASCAP for international writer's credit for Every Day Should Be Mother's Day . Radio programmers must love the song in Britain. I listened to some very strong cds, especially the critically acclaimed "Van Lear Rose," the latest release by the legendary Loretta Lynn . Others in my cd player included Anastacia, Della Reese , Steve Earle, Christine McVie, Josh Turner , and a wonderful compilation titled Hits of 1939 .
My dear mother will undergo major heart surgery early this month to replace her aortic valve; a bypass may also be necessary. Please add Gladys Metz to your prayers, along with my ailing Aunt Mary Klopke .
Merry Christmas to all of you, and I hope you enjoy a safe, healthy, and happy Holiday Season!
October was a pretty busy month. Hard to believe the first marking period has passed, and I'll be visiting my brother Brian in Florida in a few weeks. I finally found some time to get my guitar out of its case for the first time since my move this past summer. The voice is healed and ready to go--I just wonder if I'll have quality time to do some writing before the year is out. Then again, inspiration can strike at any time...
I've been listening to lots of records and cds this fall by Van Zant, UFO, Janis Joplin, The Kinleys, Louis Armstrong, The Schuers, Alan Jackson, Goo Goo Dolls, No Doubt, Deep Purple, Yes, Janie Fricke, Blue Oyster Cult, Gogi Grant, Paul Brandt, Anastacia, Foreigner , and Patty Larkin .
My mother's health is slowly improving, for which I am grateful. With Thanksgiving nearly upon us, please remember to spend time with the ones you love, and cherish each and every day!
The month of September brought about a much-needed reality check. I received my first-ever ASCAP check for International Royalties, specifically from Great Britain for the June-December 2003 period for Every Day Should Be Mother's Day . Then, two days later, my dear mother (and inspiration for the song) was rushed to the hospital in critical condition with anemia and congestive heart failure. She's home now, following a 17-day hospital stay. It is hoped that she will soon regain her stamina for an aortic valve replacement this fall. Please keep my mother in your prayers, and remember that family comes first!
I spent most of the month of August settling into my new home. Lots of check-writing, shopping, box cutting, and styrofoam-recycling. I'm always ready for a new school year to begin, but especially this one, since I will resume receiving my paychecks! Needless to say, the move put my writing plans on hold. Hopefully, there will be lots of song ideas stashed away in my subconscious for whenever the next round of inspiration for songwriting decides to grab me.
I had the opportunity to listen to lots of cds and LPs by Bobbie Gentry, Martina McBride, Brooks & Dunn, Ella Fitzgerald , ZWOL, Robin Trower, Janis Joplin, 10cc, Kenny Chesney, Joni James, Trace Adkins, Van Zant , and UFO . I've set up the guest bedroom of my home as a Music Room with my guitars, music equipment, cds, and record collection. It's been fun playing LPs I've owned for 30 years or more.
Enjoy these precious remaining summer days!
July was a very busy month. I'm in the process of moving to a new home, so it's been almost non-stop shopping for the past few weeks. Thankfully, I've had the entire summer to frequent many fine furniture stores, wait for deliveries, and get settled. I'm hoping to be comfortably moved in early this month.
I ended up playing in more than half the games for the York Tavern softball team this summer. I was supposed to be an "emergency replacement," but ended up playing every position except the outfield. It was good to be out playing on some beautiful summer nights, and my performance was about what it was when I "retired" in 2000, but I'm convinced I made the right decision to hang 'em up four seasons ago. The reflexes just aren't what they used to be, and the aches and pains linger longer...
I did find time to read My Prison Without Bars by Pete Rose and listened to cds by Joe Nichols, Gale Garnett, The Ink Spots , Heart, Ella Fitzgerald, The Warren Brothers, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Martina McBride , and Bobbie Gentry .
It's hard to believe that when I write my September entry, school will have already been in session for two weeks. I'll be starting my 14th year as a schoolteacher, the last ten teaching 5th-grade at Buttefield School. My, how the years fly by when you live by the school calendar...
Enjoy these precious remaining summer days!
Quite a bit of activity this summer. I had two performances in June; on the 16th, I played a bunch of 70s favorites and a few from the Dare To Be Kind cd for Butterfield School students, staff, and their families at the Sally Magunson Media Center . It helped launch the extremely successful summer reading program, spearheaded by MeCen Director Patti Kring . Then, on the 18th, I played my earliest gig ever (10:30 am) for a group of senior citizens in Bloomingdale. The set consisted of singing along to classic tunes from the 40s-60s, and of course some prime cuts from the cd.
I suppose the digital distribution of music over the internet is here to stay. During the month of May, 17 people purchased digital downloads of Every Day Should Be Mother's Day from Apple's I-Tunes Music Store . It must mean I've been getting airplay somewhere--perhaps on satellite radio, and the 50-some radio stations that played cuts from the cd in the months following its release three years(!) ago.
I've been enjoying the first few weeks of summer vacation following my nephews and nieces on the ballfield. Great fun to have a rooting interest on a beautiful summer evening. I've also been summoned to play for the York Tavern softball team for five games (and counting), and am hitting and fielding surprisingly well. After 20 seasons, I had retired in 2001, but I must say it's been fun.
July should find me doing a little bit of writing, and a lot of reading. This past month, I enjoyed listening to cds by Greg Kihn , David Lee Murphy, Alanis Morissette, Lee Ann Womack, Marshall Tucker Band, Fleetwood Mac, Carly Simon, The Ink Spots, and Jeannie C. Riley.
May, my favorite month of year, always seems to fly by. This past May was no exception. On May 8, I drove 48 miles to see Kathy Mattea in concert in Grayslake, and she and her terrific band put on another top-rate performance. Alas, severe weather in the area prevented me from sticking around afterward to chat with her. The following week, I played slow-pitch 16-inch for the York Tavern softball team in their season opener. I had "retired" following the 2000 season, ( I thought a 20 season career was more than enough) but the past two years I've been an emergency super-sub. I played catcher, and went 1-for-2 in an 11-8 loss. Strangely enough, even though I hadn't played regularly in four years, the enthusiasm and "game face" came back quickly--I'm just not as quick!
I've spent the past few weeks rehearsing for a performance June 16 at Butterfield School in the Sally Magnuson Media Center . I plan to play favorite classic rock and pop songs from the '70s, and some contemporary tunes the kids will be familiar with. Attendees can also expect to hear cuts from my Dare To Be Kind cd. The show will start at approximately 5pm. For complete details, click on Show Dates.
It's hard to believe that I'm about to complete my 13th year as an educator--the past nine years teaching 5th-grade at Butterfield School . You really age fast when you live by the school calendar, but I'm looking forward to another summer to relax, read, write, and re-institute a healthy fitness regimine.
Cds I've listened to the past month included albums by Paul Brandt, Patti Smith, Fred Astaire, Tanya Tucker, Patty Larkin, Charly McClain, Jon Vezner, Motels, Berlin, The Fixx, Bernie Leadon, Avril Lavigne, Liz Phair, Alanis Morissette, Red Foley , Carlene Carter, Jimmy Wakely , and Carly Simon .
Hope to see you on the 16th!
It's hard to believe Spring has finally arrived. I've spent lots of time reading and developing playwriting ideas for a long-overdue summer writing project. I've adopted Edward Albee's "Don't start writing until you feel you absolutely have to get your story down" approach, and I sense it won't be long before the words come spilling out.
I'm looking forward to seeing Kathy Mattea in concert May 8. I've seen many live performers in my days, but I've seen Kathy at least 15 times over the years. She's truly a terrific person and entertainer.
Cds I listened to during April included works by Sarah Vaughn , Cathy Richardson Band, Jackson Browne, Greg Kihn, Julie London, Kennedy-Rose, Dionne Warwick, Mogg-Way, Lacy J. Dalton, Hits of 1940, Paul Brandt, Sylvia, and Fred Astaire .
Please check back for possible summer showdates, and remember: "Every Day Should Be Mother's Day!"
I just returned from a very-welcome Spring Break trip to visit my brother Brian in warm, sunny Ft. Lauderdale Florida. It was a "play things by ear" vacation--no definite plans, except for long strolls, dining out, and lots of reading. I enjoyed reading autobiographies by Sheldon Leonard and Don Zimmer . We also saw Patty Larkin perform an engaging acoustic concert.
The inaugural PriMerry Players March 16 performance of Illustrious Illinoisans was well-received. I was in good voice, and it was fun resurrecting On Your Way, Head West, and Old Plank Road from my growing catalog of original material. I've continued to research Illinois history for a future musical project. Live performances tend to bring out the inspiration for writing new songs, and I was able to write rough versions of two songs during March. Cds I listened to included Country Hits of the 1940s and albums by Daniele Alexander, Betty Wright, Berlin, Marty Stuart, UFO, Bessie Smith, Carly Simon, Gisele Mackenzie, Patricia Conroy, Julie London, and Hank Thompson .
The Patty Larkin concert experience has motivated me to dedicate myself to becoming a more accomplished guitarist, so the coming months will involve learning and practicing scales, which should allow me more artistic freedom for songwriting and performing. Hope you're enjoying the Spring weather!
February was a pretty hectic month. The first half of the month was spent tweaking and rehearsing the set list for my February 16 Senior Luncheon performance in LaGrange Park. I'm pleased to report that I was in great voice, and that over 50 seniors attended. They really enjoyed singing along with the lyric sheets I provided, and re-visiting music they had grown up with--and I enjoyed finding those hidden gems and rehearsing them. For a detailed summary, click on "Reviews."
I'll be singing three original songs March 16 at the Downers Grove Public Library as part of local writer Joyce Tumea's Illustrious Illinoisians series. There will be scripted readings and music focusing on local history, with an emphasis on the accomplishments of women. The songs I'll be performing are On Your Way, Head West , and Old Plank Road . I wrote them in the late-'90s, so it's been fun resurrecting them. Hope you can make it out for a "different night" of entertainment--the show is on a night when most television stations will be broadcasting results from the Illinois Primary, and the performance is free, so mark your calendars now. For more details, click on "Show Dates."
I enjoyed reading The Conquest of the Illinois , by George Rogers Clark, a detailed account of his strategies and experiences in the Northwest Territory during the Revolutionary War . I still have a bit more research to do, but I can sense I'm getting closer to being ready to finally begin writing a one-man musical history of Illinois, which would open up many more opportunities to perform live, and sell some more Dare To Be Kind cds!
A wide variety of music filled my cd players at home and in the car this past month, including Poco, Maria Muldaur, Blues Traveler, Helen O'Connell, Kay Starr, The Rolling Stones, Jane Morgan, Charlie Parker, Helen Reddy, Radney Foster, Teresa Brewer, and Daniele Alexander.
Hope to see you on the 16th!
After a long, relaxing Holiday Break, it was good to return to school, and the structured schedule. I also did my income taxes, completed a grant application for Vortex Theatre , and rehearsed and tweaked the set list for my February 16 Senior Luncheon performance in LaGrange Park. For show info, click on Show Dates .
I did a lot of reading in January, too. I enjoyed autobiographies by Robin Roberts, Jimmy Piersall, Melissa Etheridge , and Bruce McNall, and I spent most of my Christmas and birthday gift money on books about Illinois history. I think there's a play or musical to be found somewhere amongst the grist! I also continued feeding my cd habit with my gift money. Listening selections on the treadmill and in my car during the past month included works by Paul Brandt, Dusty Springfield, Gail Davies, Three Dog Night, Bill Cooley, Carly Simon, Delbert McClinton, Hits of 1941, and a surprisingly excellent album by Phil Mogg/Way, formerly of the the rock band UFO . That cd ROCKS!
I plan to spend the last half of February fine-tuning some of my newer music for a potential summer recording project. The voice is almost back to where it was, and I feel extremely fortunate to have regained it. Being unable to sing for a year was very difficult and scary to deal with, but fortunately, I didn't need surgery. I fully sympathize with what Julie Andrews had to endure following her unsuccessful vocal cord surgery. Hopefully, she'll be able to sing once more!
Stay warm and well!
December was a very busy month. After a relaxing Florida vacation during Thanksgiving Break, I returned home for three weeks of school, then Christmas Break. On Dec 4, members of Butterfield School's Dare To Be Kind Committee sang holiday carols for the residents of Lexington Square in Lombard. Then, on Sat. Dec 6, my sister Linda and I enjoyed a marvelous performance by Kathy Mattea and her band. The show was part of a sold out season subscription concert series at North Central College in Naperville, but I called early to be on the waiting list, and was able to secure two balcony seats when subscribers turned in their tickets.
They missed a fantastic show. I've seen Kathy perform about 15 times, but there's something particularly magical about her Christmas shows. She did an acoustic opening set of her hits and favorites, then put on a wonderful second act filled with selections from her Grammy Award winning "Good News" album and her recently released "Joy For Christmas Day" cd. Afterward, Linda and I chatted with her, and I gave her some copies of songs from my cd that I think she may be interested in recording for her upcoming Contemporary Christian release. Kathy is such a kind, gracious, and talented performer--don't miss her the next time she comes to your area!
During the Holiday Season, I got around to coming up with a rough set list for my Feb 16 performance at the Senior Luncheon in LaGrange Park. I'll be playing cover tunes from as far back as the 1940s, suitable for sing-alongs. I'll also play a few new songs, and favorites from my cd. For info, click on Show Dates.
The Christmas Break also allowed me time to catch up with my pleasure reading. I finally finished Don't Know Much About Geography, by Kenneth Davis, Strikeout by Denny McClain, When You Can't Come Back by Dave Dravecky, and a Zina Garrison autobiography. I also played LOTS of cds--Kathy Mattea (of course!), Anne Murray, Greg Kihn, Les Paul and Mary Ford, Bernie Leadon and Michael Georgiades, Lynryd Skynyrd, Trick Pony, Thin Lizzy, UFO, Della Reese, Sylvia, Reba McEntire, Lynn Anderson, and Dinah Washington .
January is the time for setting goals, and I hope to finalize plans for recording a second cd this summer. My voice is starting to round back into shape, and I may pursue more live gigs, but I'm still being careful. I wish you all success in achieving your goals in the New Year. Best wishes for a happy, healthy, 2004!
November was an active month. We had some great crowds for the closing weekend of the Grove Players production of Applause, then I worked sound and lights for most of the three weekend run of the Vortex Theatre production of Italian American Reconciliation . I visited my brother Brian Nov 25-30 in Ft. Lauderdale, and it was good to have NOTHING planned for a few days!
When I had time to read, I enjoyed reading REBEL HEART, Bebe Beull's controversial autobiography. Cds in my car player included works by Margaret Whiting, Koko Taylor, Lonnie Brooks, Todd Rundgren, Romantics, Heart, Eddie Rabbitt, and a compiliation of songs from 1942.
I'll be spending most of December and January reading scripts for the March-April Vortex Theatre production, and rehearsing for my annual President's Day concert for senior citizens. I'm also looking forward to meeting Kathy Mattea following her Dec. 5 concert in Naperville. She's planning on recording a Contempory Christian cd, and I think she may be interested in recording a few of my songs. Her Joy For Christmas Day cd is terrific--another winner from a truly gifted performer.
I received an email from England. Somebody heard one of my songs played on Radio 1 overseas. Nice to know you don't have to "pay for play" to be heard over there!
God Bless, and Happy Holidays!
I'm pleased to report that my voice is staging a comeback--it held up through the successful run of Applause, and I'll begin rehearsing for my February concert. Losing my singing voice for the better part of one year has made appreciate the instrument I was born with, so I will continue to take things slowly.
I had not been in a full-scale musical for six years, so the Grove Players production of Applause was particularly enjoyable. Musicals are always fun; they bring together singers, actors, and dancers, and you meet lots of new people. November will find me working lights and sound for the Vortex Theatre production of Italian American Reconciliation . Showdates are weekends, Nov 7-23. For details, click on Links, then Vortex Theatre.
It's hard to believe the holidays are nearly upon us. I'm looking forward to spending Thanksgiving Break with my brother Brian in Ft. Lauderdale. Will be nice walking around in shorts and t-shirts again. Spent lots of TV time watching the Cubs' exciting playoff run. Cds I listened to included Avril Lavigne, Steve Miller, Willie Nelson & Friends, Kathy Mattea, Helen Reddy, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Robin Trower, Allison Krauss & Union Station, and Mel McDaniel.
So far the voice has held up pretty well after one month of school and Applause rehearsals. It's been fun rehearsing for a musical again. The show runs for two weekends, beginning Oct 24. For info, click on Links, then Grove Players .
I'll be playing the Senior Luncheon in LaGrange Park next Feb 16 for the third consecutive year. The food and audiences have always been terrific, and I'm looking forward to learning some more 40s and 50s tunes for singalongs, which I will mix in with new original material and old favorites from the Dare To Be Kind cd. When I have the final details, I'll post the info on the Show Dates link.
Back to School and rehearsing nights has me back in my vehicle more often, which has allowed for me to listen to more music. The sounds of Paul Brandt, Elvis Presley, Michelle Branch, Martha Tilton, Kennedy-Rose, Clay Davidson, Wynonna, April Wine, and Darrell Evans emanated from my auto during September.
Hope you can make it out to see Applause this month!
School is back in session, and my voice has survived the first few days of classes. I saw an excellent concert in Oak Brook Terrace last month. It featured Deborah Allen, Michelle Wright, and The Kinleys on a lovely August evening. These three acts shared the stage simultaneously, singing backup for one another as the hits kept coming.
I finally got around to reading GRANT, a very long tome about the life of our 18th president. That's what makes long breaks so special--the opportunity to curl up with several good, long books. Cds I listened to included works by Ella Mae Morse, Bill Lloyd, Radney Foster, Suzy Bogguss, Don Gibson, Shania Twain, and Vera Lynn.
Perhaps the "biggest" news of the month was being coaxed into joining the 32-member cast of Grove Players' Oct-Nov production of Applause, the hit Broadway musical that won the 1970 Tony Award for Best Musical. It's a musical version of the Oscar-winning movie, All About Eve. I play the role of Buzz Richards, the playwright--a bit of typecasting here? So far, my singing voice has improved tremendously following a summer of rest, and I sing a few duets in the show. For ticket info, click on Links , then Grove Players.
Enjoy these precious remaining summer days!
July was spent enjoying the cool summer weather, in-between the numerous rounds of thunderstorms. I also came out of a three-year "retirement" to substitute in a pinch for the York Tavern softball team. Surprisingly, I don't think I've lost too much--not that after 20 seasons I had left all that much behind! I also followed my nephew Ryan's baseball all-star team. They came away with two hard-earned second place tournament finishes. It was great sitting out on beautiful summer nights watching 12-year-olds compete, and it was all free of charge!
I was glad to finally see the After Hours Band play an outdoor concert under the stars in LaGrange Park. Andy and Tom Tedeschi fronted a talented band that included Ray Sapko, the former lead guitarist of Tantrum, a local rock band I followed around the local clubs during my college years.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading several books about Joe Hill , the famous songwriter for the Industrial Workers of the World, and Lance Armstrong's autobiography--both true heroes!
My listening choices included cds by Alicia Bridges, Steve Earle, Mel Torme, Starz, Led Zeppelin, Ella Fitzgerald, Steve Miller, J.P. Pennington, Liz Phair, Bruce Cockburn , and Gary Wright.
CDBaby.com has a digital distribution system that should be ready soon, so my songs will be available for reasonably-priced downloads. Yet another artist-friendly service provided by this wonderful online music company!
I haven't made any further progress with the play I began writing in June, but there's a solid foundation for when inspiration hits me again. Hard to believe I'll be back in the classroom Aug 25--but it's certainly been a terrific summer thus far!
I received some encouraging news on the medical front. MRIs, CAT scans, and x-rays failed to reveal any cause of origin for my ailing right vocal cord. The voice is much improved, and the size of the nodule on the left vocal cord has decreased. My throat specialist expects that a summer of voice rest should have me sounding as clear as ever by the time school starts in late-August.
I had planned on doing some songwriting this summer, but when I do that, I sing, so I've tabled that idea. Instead, I've begun work on a new play. The working title is OPEN HOUSE MURDER, and I hope to be finished or near-finished before the summer is over.
I've also continued to read scripts for the Vortex Theatre season, but no final decisions have yet been made for the 2003-04 season. I also read a lengthy Annie Lennox biography last month, and I'm nearly finished reading an excellent Steve Earle biography.
I enjoyed seeing Chuck Negron, formerly of Three Dog Night perform on a beautiful Friday night in Oak Brook Terrace. He sang all the hits, and it was FREE! I've also been listening to lots of cds this summer: Jamie O'Hara, Ben Harper, Firefall, The Kinleys, Johnny Van Zant, Radney Foster, Player, Steve Earle, and BARE, the new release by Annie Lennox.
I hope you're enjoying your summer!
It's hard to believe that I have just completed my 12th year as an educator. The month of May was chock-full of events. The sixth Vortex Theatre season concluded with a well-received two-weekend run of MISERY. I spent many hours reading scripts for next season, and plan to spend many more in June, also. I'm 90% ready to begin writing a thriller script of my own this summer. When I wasn't reading scripts, I read a biography on Hall-of-Fame pitcher Lefty Grove and a book about Lyryrd Skynyrd, written by a lifelong friend and bodyguard of the late Ronnie Van Zant.
Discs in my cd player included a Jo Stafford anthology, Foster & Lloyd , Andy Russell , Dinah Shore , Kim Richey, and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "One More From the Road," one of the best live albums ever recorded.
I have dedicated the coming summer months to getting my health back. MRIs will be performed this month to determine the cause of the paralysis of my right vocal cord. I will miss performing this summer, however, I look forward to getting my full voice back soon. If nothing else, the extended summer vacation will provide the voice with much needed-rest, which should assist in the healing process.
Enjoy these precious summer days!
April really flew by! Returned from my Pompano Beach Spring Break vacation April 6, and it was ISAT TESTING time again. My fifth-graders worked very hard--eight standardized Reading, Math, and Writing exams in a three-day period! Easter Sunday was spent with family and relatives. I took my two nephews to see the movie premiere of HOLES , Louis Sachar's Newbery Award-winning novel. Was very enjoyable.
The BUTTERFIELD SCHOOL Student Council sponsored a successful school-wide collection of items to send to our troops overseas, and the DARE TO BE KIND COMMITTEE coordinated an all-school greeting card making and writing session to include in the packages shipped to family members and relatives serving in the military.
Listened to ROSANNE CASH'S excellent new cd, as well as cds by NAT KING COLE, TOWER OF POWER, NATALIE COLE, DICK HAYMES, and "Home," by the DIXIE CHICKS. Speaking of the DIXIE CHICKS, would somebody please inform me when the BILL OF RIGHTS eliminated Freedom of Speech? They never should have apologized for their anti-war remarks, but gave in to the almighty dollar, thanks to their contractual obligations with their record company. Thank goodness it appears this terrible war appears to be coming to a close!
After finishing SANDY KOUFAX: A LEFTY'S LEGACY, I read several scripts for the next Vortex Theatre season. I will also begin writing a thriller of my own this month. Please try to catch MISERY the final production of Vortex Theatre's sixth season. For information, click on "Links," then Vortex Theatre.
Remember, Every Day Should Be Mother's Day!
The month of March was an eventful one. Vortex Theatre staged a successful production of Harold Pinter's THE BIRTHDAY PARTY, which opened a mere five weeks after a successful February run of SAME TIME, NEXT YEAR. An early-May adaptation of Stephen King's MISERY will close out our sixth(!)season.
I spent Spring Break in Pompano Beach with my brother Brian, and sister Linda. The weather was terrific; it was good to get away, then return to April with a fresh start. Saw ADAPTATION and HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME NOT, a rather strange French film--the first time I've ever seen a movie with subtitles! I also fully enjoyed the opportunity to curl up and read two good books: DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT HISTORY and THE OTHER SIDE OF ETHEL MERTZ . Yep, I've been known for my varied reading interests.
I also listened to several cds, including an Anita O'Day anthology, Les Paul, Joe Nichols, Terri Clark, Greg Kihn, and a couple by the overlooked Kim Richey. I also spent some time tweaking and re-arranging a few of my newer songs, which I probably won't actually record until the summer of 2004. Although it's getting better, my voice is still not where I would like for it to be, especially for recording purposes. I plan to rest my voice for most of the summer; hopefully that will bring marked improvement.
God bless our troops overseas, and the innocent civilians.
Had a pretty busy February. The Vortex Theatre production of SAME TIME, NEXT YEAR was a terrific success. I enjoyed playing George in the 1965 scene. The character was humorous and dramatic--all wrapped into a tidy 15-minute scene. The cast was very talented, and fun to be with--a winning combination, to be sure!
My Feb 17 Senior Luncheon concert was also a lot of fun. I took a chance by changing gears in January, learning over a dozen pop songs from the 1940s and 1950s that my audience grew up enjoying. They sang along to nearly every song, and I also mixed in a few new original tunes with some cuts from the DARE TO BE KIND cd. My newfound interest in post-World War II music led to the purchase of several cds from that era; Guy Mitchell, Evelyn Knight, June Christy, Vaughn Monroe--can't get enough of 'em!
Early March will be spent preparing for the Butterfield School "Swing Into Spring" Talent Showcase and promoting Harold Pinter's THE BIRTHDAY PARTY for Vortex. It's been nice not to have to study lines or rehearse for any concerts these past few weeks. The relaxation will kick into high gear when I spend Spring Break Mar 28-Apr 6in Pompano Beach, FL with my brother Brian.
Well, school's been back in session since Jan 6, and the voice is still on the mend. I spent most of January purchasing vintage pop hits from the 1940s and 1950s from BESTBUY.COM , a terrific source for re-mastered 78rpm recordings on cds. It's been fun listening to these timeless recordings, and I'm planning to sing about ten of them at the SENIOR LUNCHEON Feb 17. They're pretty simple to learn, and I'll be providing lyric sheets for sing-a-longs. I also plan to play several new songs, and a bunch of tracks from the DARE TO BE KIND cd.
The VORTEX THEATRE production of SAME TIME, NEXT YEAR runs for two weekends, Feb 7-16. We're using six different age-appropriate couples for the two roles. I play George in middle-age. The script is funny, dramatic, and well-written. I enjoyed selecting music from 1951-1975 for the production. I hope you can make it out to see the show. For info, click on "Show Dates."
December brought a month of welcome rest for my vocal cords. The tiny nodule on my left vocal cord is now barely detectable. I still haven't sung on a regular basis, however, I did manage to write two new songs, which I hope to premiere at the SENIOR LUNCHEON concert Feb. 17. The month of January will also be spent rehearsing for the VORTEX THEATRE production of SAME TIME, NEXT YEAR , which runs weekends, Feb 7-16. For more info, click on "Links" then VORTEX THEATRE .
I appear in one scene, and I'm also handling sound design for the play, which takes place from 1951-1975. I've really enjoyed listening to songs from the early 1950s, some of which I recall my mother playing on her old 78-rpm victrola when I was a child. If my voice can handle the extra rehearsing, I plan to learn and play a few of those nuggets at the SENIOR LUNCHEON. For info on the Feb. 17 concert, click on "Show Dates."
I saw singer-songwriter ALANIS MORRISETTE in concert Dec 14 at the CHICAGO THEATER. She's the consummate entertainer; a living-legend-in the-making. I also read two excellent biographies over the holidays. JOHN ADAMS , the bestseller by David McCullough, and ANGEL ON MY SHOULDER , by singer Natalie Cole. Both are well-written, and highly recommended.
I hope you were able to spend time with your friends and loved ones during the holiday season. Best wishes for a happy, healthy 2003!
Well, I had a terrific time playing the role of Paul Miller in VORTEX THEATRE'S production of MURDER AT THE HOWARD JOHNSON'S. The comedy that occupied the majority of my spare time this autumn was a tremendous success, and we added many new patrons to our mailing list. It was a blessing to perform with such a talented cast and production crew.
My voice took a beating, however, and I am now nursing a small nodule on my left vocal cord. My throat specialist has told me that it will likely heal if I rest my voice, which should be relatively easy with the play and two days and nights of Parent/Teacher conferences now behind me.
I spent Thanksgiving with my brother Brian in warm, sunny Pompano Beach Florida. The five day vacation gave my vocal cords a much-needed break, and I've adopted a "speak only when necessary" approach for the month of December. Song ideas danced about my mind, and I should have a few new compositions by the end of the month.
Hope you enjoy a happy, safe holiday season!
It's been quite an autumn thus far. The first grading period just ended, and MURDER AT THE HOWARD JOHNSON'S will run for three weekends, Nov 8-24. It's been great fun rehearsing for this cleverly written comedy, and I hope you can make it out to see the show. For info, click on "Links," then "VORTEX THEATRE."
I've been battling inflamed vocal cords, so I haven't been singing for a while. Thankfully, my voice is gradually returning, and I look forward to doing some writing once the play closes. On Oct 20, I saw Kathy Mattea give a fabulous performance at the MAC CENTER at COLLEGE OF DUPAGE. She's one of my all-time favorite entertainers, and she did songs from nearly all of her cds, several of which were from ROSES, her latest release. I highly recommend it. You won't hear it on the radio, because it's too good for radio.
Other fine cds I've listened to this past month are Bill Miller's SPIRIT RAIN and HEAR MY PRAYER. He is a soulful Native-American vocalist who combines strong vocals with expert guitar playing and wind instruments. He opened for Kathy Mattea a few years back, and was sensational.
Hope to see you at the play!
Hard to believe it's October. School's been going well, although my class has been hit with an outbreak of prolonged flu, strep, and scarlet fever. So far, I've emerged unscathed, but my voice has taken a bit of a beating.
In between my bouts of hoarseness, the fifth-grade Mission Statement was set to music, and I did manage to revisit some old tunes I've earmarked for my next recording. "She's A Woman" is now an upbeat, Bruce Springsteen-like tune. Must've subconsciously been influenced by the BARENAKED LADIES greatest hits cd I'd been cranking in my car last month. Anyway, it was exciting to give an '80s tune a new arrangement.
If you're over 55 years of age, mark your calendars for Monday, Feb 17, 2003--PRESIDENT'S DAY . I'll be performing for the SENIOR LUNCHEON sponsored by my dear friends at the COMMUNITY PARK DISTRICT OF LAGRANGE PARK . A delicious catered lunch is served at noon, then I'll be playing a mix of old and new tunes from 1-2pm.
Rehearsals for MURDER AT THE HOWARD JOHNSON'S are well-underway, and the cast and crew are having a blast. This hilarious comedy involves a husband, wife, and dentist in a love triangle that results in several unsuccessful murder attempts. There are certain roles that seem "made" for you, and the role of Paul Miller seems to be one of those for me. Please try to attend this VORTEX THEATRE production which runs for three weekends, Nov 8-24. You can get detailed directions and other info about the play by clicking "Links" and then "VORTEX THEATRE." Hope to see you there!
Back to school time! Began Year #12 as an educator August 26. Almost lost my voice (through no fault of the students) the first Friday! Butterfield School is now air-conditioned. The month of August was spent reading about the Haymarket Tragedy of 1886-87. Not an easy read, and a dark chapter of Chicago history that is rarely discussed.
Although I didn't write any scripts this summer, I did submit a short story to the publishers of a new book, CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE MUSIC LOVER'S SOUL. The book will contain a series of stories that relate to how music touched peoples' lives in some way.
I decided to write about how I got the inspiration to write "Every Day Should Be Mother's Day." It was fun writing for that format; the book won't be published till late next year. Will let you know if my story is chosen. For those of you who like to write, you can go to their website for submission guidelines: www.chickensoup.com.
The CHICKEN SOUP entry also gave me the realization that it was time to finish my song honoring the fathers of the world. "Proud To Be Your Son" is now a finished song that will be on my next recording, probably next summer. I had tried several times to finish that song, but when you try to force things, the end-result is rarely one you're proud of. I think I've finally got it this time.
This just in...I will be co-starring in MURDER AT THE HOWARD JOHNSON'S for VORTEX THEATRE in November. The script is hilarious; stay tuned for showdates. More next month.
Enjoy these precious remaining summer days!
A heartfelt THANK YOU to all who braved the hottest day in three years and attended my July 21 concert on the PALMER PLACE patio. Coincidentally, my last previous outdoor performance had been on that hot, muggy afternoon in late-July 1999--remember that day I opened for RICK SPRINGFIELD at the PARTY IN THE PARK? That show was at high noon; at least the PALMER PLACE performance was at night, and there was a decent breeze blowing.
It was fun playing an assortment of favorite cover tunes, most of the songs from the DARE TO BE KIND cd, and several new songs. It was a terrific venue to play, and the lengthy block of time motivated me to tweak and fine-tune those new compositions that had been lying dormant since last summer! One of those songs, "Get It Now," will be the title track of my second cd, which I'm planning to record next summer.
I've been doing LOTS of reading this summer. I've got loads of material for the Illinois history musical play I intend to begin writing soon, and I recently finished reading John McEnroe's autobiography and Jim Brosnan's recently re-released "The Long Season." In addition, the VORTEX Theatre season is just around the corner, so I've been reading scripts for our November production.
Hard to believe I'll be back in the classroom Aug 26. Summers are always enjoyable and fulfilling, however, by late-August, it's time to return to some structure. In the meantime, I've been enjoying lots of lunch dates, dinner dates, wee-hour snacking, and walking the neighborhood. As Neil Simon said, "There are only so many summers in one's lifetime--enjoy!"
My summer writing project is a play about the history of Illinois. I've got lots of reading and research ahead of me, but it's been pretty interesting reading. I also plan to write a one-man musical about the Prairie State. Planning the next VORTEX THEATRE season is also in the works. Hard to believe it's been 5 years and 16 productions since VILLAGE OF ROSES. Time certainly flies when you're working on a school calendar!
Thank you for visiting my site, and have a terrific summer!
"A ROAD YOU'VE WALKED BEFORE" STARTS TO DENT THE CHARTS
I was pleased to receive news from my radio promoter that "A Road You've Walked Before (Cocoa Puffs)" is receiving MEDIUM rotation on WAGS in Bishopville, South Carolina. It is also in the Top 50 on WDHC in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia and WFLE in Flemingsburg, Kentucky."A Road You've Walked Before" is in LITE rotation on seven radio stations. At last count, 43 radio stations were playing it! It is extremely difficult for independent artists to receive airplay, but the fact that this single is starting to receive MEDIUM and LITE rotation is encouraging, to say the least. Hopefully, the momentum will continue to build!
"DARE TO BE KIND" ADDED TO 31 PLAYLISTS IN DECEMBER; 12 MORE IN 2002!
"Dare To Be Kind" is making an impressive early showing. The timeless tune is now on 53 radio stations nationwide, many of which are also playing "A Road You've Walked Before." Things are looking promising in 2002!
GARY "CENTERSTAGE" IN THE DOINGS
An interview with Gary appeared in the November 22 issue of the DOINGS. As the first featured "Centerstage" artist, he answered questions regarding the DARE TO BE KIND CD and his songwriting. The photo were taken at BUTTERFIELD SCHOOL while Gary accompanied his fifth-grade students on his guitar as they sang their Mission Statement.
"DARE TO BE KIND" MAILED TO COUNTRY RADIO IN OCTOBER
As of November 9, "A Road You've Walked Before" was receiving airplay on at least 34 country radio stations nationwide. It will be interesting to see how well "Dare To Be Kind" fares.
I heard about the September 11 terrorist attacks while teaching school that fateful Tuesday. I had no planning periods that day; an abbreviated lunch, and had to rely on colleagues for brief hallway updates as the attacks escalated. My 5th-graders were aware of what had happened. I felt it my duty as an educator to stray from my lesson plan that morning, and discuss why such a terrible thing could possibly happen?
We talked about the Gulf War of 1991, Iraq's strained relations, continued bombings between the Israelis and Palestinians. The children were not afraid. It was a very mature discussion, and a strange one for me, since I had minimal information about the attacks.
At lunchtime, I checked my mailbox, and found a letter and autographed picture of President Bush. I had requested one during the summer, since I couldn't find any pictures of him in the stores. I wanted his to hang on the wall with the other past presidents. A moving coincidence. The kids were thrilled to see the letter and the photo.
After school, I drove home on nearly deserted roads. Shopping center parking lots were nearly vacant. I didn't turn on my radio. I needed the quiet time to think about the magnitude of the events. When I turned on the television to see the horror, it was worse than I could have imagined. I had my writing clipboard at my side, ready to jot down any lyrics that came to my head, but I just couldn't.
I thought, "The title track to my CD says it all. We can make this world better, if we all unite together, and DARE TO BE KIND so we can get along."
Just one month after mailing "A Road You've Walked Before" to country radio, I am doing the unthinkable: sending a concurrent single as well. Maybe radio programmers will give it a listen.
GARY HITS THE COUNTRY AIRWAVES!
"A Road You've Walked Before," Gary's up-tempo follow-up single to the touching "Every Day Should Be Mother's Day," was released to country radio in September 2001. It has already received airplay in Texas, Missouri, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire. Be sure to call your favorite country radio station to request this terrific new song!
Get the word out about this talented newcomer to the recording industry!
"EVERY DAY SHOULD BE MOTHER'S DAY" HITS THE RADIO AIRWAVES OF THE U.S.A.!
"Every Day Should Be Mother's Day," the first single from DARE TO BE KIND, the debut CD from GET IT NOW MUSIC recording artist Gary Charles Metz, was released to 2500 small-mid market radio stations in early May 2001. This timeless classic tribute to all mothers continues to receive airplay on adult-contemporary radio stations in several states across the nation. Gary recalls what inspired the composition:
"It was Mother's Day, 1990. I remember awakening inexplicably early that morning, and I thought about all the wonderful things my dear mother had done for me. I jotted them down, and came up with an accompanying melody on the furniture-piece organ in my living room."
When was the song completed?
It just kind of sat there for a few years. I tried tweaking it, usually around Mother's Day each year, but it wasn't until the summer of 1998 that I was able to finalize the song.
Did you finish it on the organ?
No. Thankfully, I had learned enough chords by then to be able to do my songwriting using a guitar. It was much quicker and easier. I didn't have to wait for the organ to warm up, try balancing paper on the music stand, hope the pencils were sharpened, or that the erasers weren't worn out -- all excuses I had used for procrastinating.
When were you completely satisfied with the song?
When I played it for my mom and family members that Mother's Day, they really enjoyed it. They're not afraid to tell me when I've written material less than ready for public consumption. At that time, the song was called, "Mother's Day."
What made you change the title of the song?
I had a performance for the 'Music Under the Stars' concert series in LaGrange Park that summer, and my dad told me afterward that the title should be "Every Day Should Be Mother's Day," so it would appeal to all mothers. I was busy writing LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL, a musical VORTEX produced the following spring, and the song fit the story-line perfectly.
Why did you choose "Every Day Should Be Mother's Day" as your first single?
It's one of the songs I'm most proud of. I sang it in LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL, and countless times in the recording studio. Each time, I lived those lyrics. I'm a pretty emotional guy when it comes to my family. When we played the final mix in the studio, the tears really started to flow. "Every Day Should Be Mother's Day" is the song people remember the most from the musical and my concerts.
What genre would you categorize it as?
"Although the DARE TO BE KIND cd leans toward country-pop, there are some tunes that are radio friendly for any format. I figured it would give an unknown artist a better shot at garnering some airplay.
How did the song "Live" come about?
That song had been around in various forms since 1982. I had written lots of melodies on the organ at the time, and my brother Brian had given me an old poem he had written in high school. I set it to music, but did nothing more with it for many years.
When did you complete "Live?"
I had written a Christmas musical for VORTEX in 1997, called CHRISTMAS WITHOUT A HOME. It's about a homeless couple spending a snowy December day in the public library. I changed some of the lyrics to fit the plot, but the chorus remains unchanged from Brian's original poem. I sang it with an acoustic guitar in the show.
The recorded version sounds like something Neil Young would sing.
I've been told that. It's got a much harder sound than the acoustic version. The haunting background vocals add to the sarcastic, yet hopeful mood the lyrics imply, not unlike a typical Neil Young tune.
Why did you choose "Live" as the mate for "Every Day Should Be Mother's Day?"
It's format friendly for radio, and I wanted Brian's song to get some airplay. "Live" is the only song from DARE TO BE KIND that was co-written.
Have you thought about your next single?
Yes, but first I want to see how well "Every Day Should Be Mother's Day" does. Hopefully, it will generate a "buzz" from airplay on the radio stations I've sent it to, which should lead to some CD sales, live performances, and television appearances. Exposure is essential for a new artist. I intend to control my own musical destiny.
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